Jamaica’s minister for fisheries announces intention to revitalize the sector

Fishing in Jamaica. Image: Leonidas Konstantinidis

Jamaica’s minister for industry, commerce, agriculture, and fisheries, Audley Shaw, has announced that the fisheries sector will be a key component of Jamaica’s blue economy drive:

Senior Government minister Audley Shaw says that the fisheries sector will come in for sharp focus while the Government leverages the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, more popularly known as the ‘Blue economy’.

“What this means is that we will be looking to more stringently protect and monitor the assets of our waters,” he told the House of Representatives as he opened the 2018/19 sectoral debate last Tuesday.

Shaw, the minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, said that the World Bank estimates the annual value of the Caribbean Sea at US$400 billion, and predicts that the entire sea economy could be eventually generating US$3 trillion, annually.

He said that, to this end, the Government would be embarking on an active programme over the next three years to ensure that the fishing industry reaps the rewards of Jamaica’s ‘Blue economy’.

In addition to economic growth, leverage of the ‘Blue economy’ is supposed to lead to improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystems.

“The plans include improved focus on our fish sanctuaries, providing a system of production assistance to our small artisanal fishermen to assist with the necessities of the trade, such as fishing wire, to boost their production, among others,” Shaw stated.

However, he said that the Government would not seek to enhance production at the expense of the sustainability of the industry.

“I am therefore putting my fishers, and those who trade in the product, on warning that while we improve and bolster the industry, sustainability is paramount,” he insisted.

Read more from the Jamaica Observer.


[Image: Leonidas Konstantinidis]

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